UPDATE (July 17, 2023 @ 11:04 AM) — Microsoft has officially unveiled the new ‘Core’ membership tier for Xbox Game Pass, which is replacing Xbox Live Gold.
This tier grants customers access to online multiplayer on console, along with a small selection of 25+ titles from the Game Pass library. Existing XBL Gold members do not need to reapply. The new tier will become active on September 14, 2023.
Original story follows below:
Microsoft is making a big move that will see its membership collection fall completely under the Xbox Game Pass label, as leaked documentation has revealed Xbox Live Gold as a service is coming to an end. Taking its place will be a new tier of Game Pass membership—Xbox Game Pass Core.
The new Core option is expected to come with the same benefits and be the same price as Xbox Live Gold membership, albeit with the change of no longer having free monthly titles. Instead, users will have a pre-selected list of 25+ games to play.
Out with the gold, in with the Core
The leaked documentation has been unearthed by Japanese site, Naver. They posted screenshots of a site that lists the different membership options for Xbox Game Pass. According to the details obtained by Naver, the change will go into effect as of September 1, 2023.
The Core tier will be priced at USD $9.99 per month and will allow for access to online multiplayer, a catalogue of 25 “high-quality games” on Xbox consoles, as well as access to Game Pass member deals and discounts.
Considering that this now falls under the umbrella of Game Pass, customers are likely to think they’d have access to the entire Game Pass library. But, while the list of 25 titles appears that it will grow in time, for all intents and purposes, one will still need to buy the Game Pass on Console tier (which is $10.99 per month) to access the full library, including day one releases.
For instance, Game Pass Core will feature access to Forza Horizon 4, but not Forza Horizon 5. On the other hand, Game Pass on Console grants access to both. So, the real ‘benefit’ of this most basic tier is that it allows users to continue to access online multiplayer on their Xbox console, as they would’ve with Xbox Live Gold. That said, PC players need not apply for this new tier, as it appears to be squarely targeted at Xbox owners.
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